Dr. Sushil Rudra
The Best Poet & Monk
” Every man is potentially divine .”
Introduction: the best poet & monk
India has produced so many great men like Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Bose and so on, but Swami Vivekananda is regarded as the greatest personality of all times.
To speak the truth, he was a spiritual teacher and the preacher of universal brotherhood between East and West. Moreover, Swami Vivekananda was a great seer and a poet.
Swamiji never thought about himself. Motherland and its people were his priority, but to him, the people of all countries in this World were as his brothers and sisters.
In the inaugural lecture at Chicago in the World Religious Conference, he addressed the spectators of America as the
” Sisters and Brothers of America ” which mesmerized the people the of Western World and Vivekananda became famous in American society.
Later he continuously gave lectures in America and Europe about Indian philosophy and Hindu Religion which is of five thousands years old and which is of great profound knowledge to the ancient monks of India.
¶¶ While Swami Vivekananda spreading this fabulous ancient knowledge of India in the West , the intellectuals of the West moved by it .
The universal teaching and profound learning of the Swami made a deep impression upon the minds of the American intelligentsia.
Not only American intellectuals , Great Orientalist ,Professor Max Muller of Oxford University , E. T. Sturdy , Roman Rolland, Christopher Isherwood, Poll Dawson of Germany , Jules Bois of France , Arnold Toyenbi – all these distinguished persons were also influenced by him .
¶¶ What was his massage to the West ? Or what he told there that they became influenced by him?
September 11, 1893 The Monday was a special day to Swami Vivekananda. This day is remarkable in the history of mankind , because , Swami Vivekananda uttered some words which is the key of World peace.
Science and technology highly enlighten modern world. We become enriched through the progress of science and technology . The entire world has been drastically changing into a big city.
Through technological development and massive progress of science , we are getting a lot of amenities .
Medical science widens longevity of men’s survival . But Communalism, bigotry, religious fundamentalism, terrorism and nasty politics are always making this world into a Hell.
The battles of Orthodox religious fundamentalism, Low and high caste problems , political differentiation , corruption in all spheres of the societies , vandalism etc are the burning problems of the country like India and world as well.
In such an environment and circumstances , the path which Swami Vivekananda proclaimed , that’s the need of the time. What he advised and remarked that very day ! Let’s try to memorize his utterances.
¶¶ Vivekananda presented there Hinduism as the mother of religions – a religion which had taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance.
He quoted two beautiful, illustrative passages taken from the scriptures of Hinduism:
” As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea , so O Lord, the different paths which men take , through different tendencies, various though they may appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.”
” Whosever comes to Me , through whatsoever form , I reach him ; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to Me. ”
It was only a short speech, but its spirit of universality, its fundamental earnestness and broadmindedness completely captivated the whole assembly.
There were other Hindu delegates who stood for societies or churches or sect but the Swami Vivekananda , who belonged to no sect but rather to India as a whole, proclaimed the universality of religious truths and the sameness of the Goal of all religious realisations.
In the course of his illuminating addresses, Swami Ji placed before the audience the cardinal truths of Vedanta, the universal religion of humanity.
Swami Vivekananda in America
Again he distinctively uttered : ” If there is ever to be a universal religion, it must be one which will have no location in place or time ; which will be infinite, like the God it will preach , and whose sun will shine upon the followers of Krishna and Christ, on saint and sinners alike; which will not be Brahminic or Buddhistic , Christian or Mohammedan.
But the some total of all these , and still have infinite space for development ; which in its catholicity will find a place for every human being, from the lowest grovelling savage not far removed from the brute to the highest man towering by the virtues of his head and heart almost above humanity.
It will be a religion which will have no place for persecution or intolerance in its polity. It will recognise divinity in every man and woman and whose whole scope, whose whole force , will be centred in adding humanity to realise its own true , divine nature. Offer such a religion and all the nations will follow you……
The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth.
” He concluded the speech with alerting that the Parliament of Religions had shown to the world that holiness, purity, and charity were not the exclusive possession of any Church in the world and that every system had produced men and women of the most exalted character.
In the face of this evidence, if anybody dreamt of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of others, he was to be pitied and told that upon the banner of every religion will soon be written, in spite of resistance: ‘ Help and not fight’, Assimilation and not Destruction’, Harmony and Peace and not Dissension’.
¶¶ The effect of these mighty words was tremendous. The news of Swami Vivekananda’s unparalleled success poured into India very soon . Though the media of that time was not like today’s electronic media. But this fabulous news reached here through the famous newspaper of India .
It was printed mostly in the Hindu , the noted newsprint, published from Madras ( Chennai). Swami Vivekananda was then world renowned spiritual teacher, great Indian monk , big orator and philosopher. Within few years he founded Ramakrishna Mission and math at Belur , near Kolkata for the service of mankind which is an eminent philanthropic organization .
¶¶ However, in the midst of recognition of his genius, universal applause, and immense popularity, He was never for a moment forgetful of his duties to the sunken masses of India.
On the very day of his triumph when he was a guest of a man of great wealth and distinction to his home and lodged in a princely room fitted with luxury beyond anything he could conceive, instead of feeling happy in this splendid environment he was miserable.
He could not sleep, pondering, in contrast, over India’s plight. The bed of down became to him a bed of thorns. He rolled down on the empty floor and in agony of his heart cried,
‘ O Mother, what do I care for name and fame when my motherland remains sunk in utmost poverty? Who will raise the masses in India? Who will give them bred ? Show me, O Mother, how can I help them .’
¶¶ The great – hearted Vivekananda wrote inspiring letters to his disciples and admirers in India to stimulate their hearts into activity and a high pitch of patriotic fervour.
— ” Gird up your loins , my boys,’ he once wrote, ” I am called by the Lord for this. The hope lies in you — in the meek , the lowly, but the faithful. Feel for the miserable and look up for help – it shall come.
Vivekananda not stopped there . He expressed his agony and suffering for this mission. Here we see his untiring efforts to remove the darkness of ignorance and the dearth of hunger of the poverty- stricken peoples of his motherland. He wrote :
” With a bleeding heart I have crossed half the world to this strange land seeking for help . The Lord will help me . I may perish of cold and hunger in this land, but I bequeath to you , young men, this sympathy, this struggle for the poor, the ignorant, the oppressed.
… Go down on your faces before Him and make a great sacrifice, the sacrifice of a whole life for them – these three hundred millions, going down and down everyday. Glory unto the Lord , we will succeed .”
¶¶ Vivekananda never forgot in the midst of luxury the primary idea of his mission. His mission was – to save his people, to mobilize them to help him in his task. He had an widening appeal. It became the cause of the people, the cause of the poor and the oppressed of the motherland as well as the whole world.
For the sake of this mission and particularly to serve the cause of his motherland he accepted the offer of a lecture bureau for a tour of the United States.
He expressed his mission to India in some of his lectures which he delivered in Madras after returning from West . Here he gave an eloquent utterance to his massage to India in these lectures comprising ‘My Plan of Campaign’, The Mission of Vedanta’, and ‘The Future of India’.
Swami Ji observed the problems of the India very deeply and prescribed the solution accordingly. ‘ Each nation ,like each individual’ he said , ‘ has one theme in this life , which is its centre , the principal note with which every other note mingles to form the harmony.
…..If any nation attempts to throw off its national vitality , the direction which has become its own through the transmission of centuries, that nation dies .
¶¶ In India religious life forms the centre , the keynote of the whole music of national life. Social reform has to be preached in India by showing how much more spiritual a life the new system will bring, and politics must show how much it will improve the one thing that the nation wants – its spirituality.
Therefore before flooding India with socialistic or political ideas the land should first be deluged with spiritual ideas . The first work that demands our attention is that the most wonderful truths confined in our Upanishads, in our scriptures and Puranas. These must be brought out from the books, the monasteries, and the forests and scattered broadcast over the land so that these truths may run like fire all over the country, from north to south , and east to west, from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin , from the Indus to the Brahmaputra.’
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